grey bar
esplanade and charles river, boston, mar 1, 2003
esplanade and charles river, boston, mar 1, 2003
tim gorton

 weblog entries

wed, may 5, 2004 - 11:19 pm - newest way to get dumped
Apparently one in ten britons admits to dumping a significant other via a cell phone text message. I think it's worth noting that I was significantly ahead of the curve by getting dumped over instant message five years ago. There is hope though: half of those surveyed admit to flirting via text messages.... (next, interactive nametags?)

mon, may 3, 2004 - 7:02 pm - rainy afternoon
I'm finally nearly recovered from the nasty cold I had all weekend, and it rains all afternoon. So after watching a movie and doing all the errands I've been putting off, I've been sitting here listening to the rain and Enya while I read some of Allan Cooper's poetry. Since my recent breakup I've been in a strange mood of reestablishing old connections that I've neglected or forgotten, and perhaps this is another one of those. The following comes to mind: "When a man does not write his poetry, it escapes by other vents in him." - Emerson

In other news, our brief nTAG event at our co-founders high school reunion at Exeter in New Hampshire was a success (despite occupying my entire birthday), and best of all we found the clear winner for the nTAG mascot.

I also found out what happens when I invite 20 friends into my living room, which can only reasonably seat six people: fourteen people stand and bump into each other a lot.

sun, apr 25, 2004 - 11:40 am - best google search
I have identified the best google search ever used to find my website. Enjoy. (It seems to come and go, but as of 5/3 I'm the fifth hit...!)

Update: someone also found my website on May 4th using the search "best google search ever" for which I'm also on the first page of hits....

fri, apr 23, 2004 - 12:13 pm - party!
I'm finally having a party at my place for my birthday. If I forgot to invite you, you should let me know.

sat, apr 17, 2004 - 10:17 pm - finally good biking weather
Up and down the esplanade and then on the minuteman of 41.65 miles today according to the computer..... Even as out of shape as I am it's good to be going some distance again. Now tomorrow I see two friends get married--still disturbing to have my friends doing this again and again.

Update: My friends are now happily married, that is, until they get married again next weekend. I also got in another 35 miles on Monday, while thousands were sweating out the marathon heat.

sun, apr 11, 2004 - 1:10 am - single again
Funny how these things work out.... I've been listening to a lot of Dar Williams, and it seems likely that this will end up being my musical association for this one. Current favorite is "Spring Street": "I'm resolved to being born and so resigned to bravery...."

thu, mar 18, 2004 - 11:47 pm - a half hour well spent
I admit that when I started work on a web site that actually had content and a passing attempt at some design about fourteen months ago, I was fairly confident that only a handful of friends would ever bother to take a look, and others would leave as fast as their mice could carry them. However, to my suprise, this group apparently spent a half hour last Wednesday exploring my web site and critiquing my photos, footwear, and resume. I never thought I'd have fans....

sun, oct 12, 2003 - 9:24 am - not sure how I even have time to write this
Work is insane, we've been running nonstop since late september and no relief is in sight until mid-November. I hope. I'm about to head out for two events next week, and there are a few more scheduled afterwards. I should be happy that business is coming in, but then again, the people selling the events aren't the ones who have to make the technology work again and again :)

In other news, I've been in my apartment for about five weeks, and in that time I've gotten 10 Victoria's Secret catalogs addressed to the previous two tenants. I'm making a pile of them on my table. I think my girlfriend is getting suspicious.

wed, sep 10, 2003 - 12:10 pm - new apartment
I've been in my new apartment for a week now. I'm still slowly buying and assembling furniture. Next to be assembled: dresser. Next to be purchased: desk, then sofa. I've been without internet access at home for the first time that I can remember. This feels oddly liberating though a neighbor and I are getting DSL soon. Not that I have a desk to put my computer on yet, anyway....

wed, aug 13, 2003 - 3:16 am - back from hawaii
I've returned from Hawaii (the big island), soon to face the crazniess of the real world. I haven't felt nearly that relaxed in a very long time; hopefully I can carry some of it with me. There are seven new banner images and new photos will be online soon.

sat, jun 28, 2003 - 10:03 pm - weddings, commitments, and babies
So people my age are doing scary things. An ex of mine is getting married, an old friend (who I took to one of the three big date-dances in high school) is having a "ceremony of commitment" with her girlfriend (financee?), and two people I knew at MIT just had a kid (after getting married a year and a half ago). What is the world coming to?!

In other news, I went to the beach today. Current status: mildly crispy.

sat, jun 14, 2003 - 11:42 am - graduation
Well, I graduated on monday for the second time. The ceremony was very much the same as the first time, but much drier and warmer (and, seemingly, shorter). I had mostly been attending because my parents were excited to come (After all, let's not fool ourselves, the ceremony is really for the families, not the graduates. Much like many weddings.) ... but it gave a good sense of closure for the three terms of M.Eng. experience. There are a bunch of pictures from the ceremony and afterwards in the photos section.

I also started working at nTAG later on Monday. (I was supposed to start on Wednesday, but something suddenly came up, and well, that's how it goes in a company with four full-time people (including me)) Our office in the south end currently houses the co-founder Rick (who I used to work for at the Media Lab several years ago) and me. We're preparing for an event in NYC next weekend. Certainly hitting the ground running....

sun, jun 1, 2003 - 1:18 pm - photos!
I made good use of a couple of hours' worth of the 12-hr delay in my return to Boston from Costa Rica yesterday by creating a new photo album system for this site. I've added many of my old photos, and this system makes it very easy for me to add more so hopefully it'll be staying up to date. I have many more old pictures to add when I get a chance, so stay tuned. update: all photos added!

The most entertaining part of the delayed trip was the one poor room service guy (who apparently answered the phone, cooked, and delivered the food) who was on duty when about forty passengers arrived at the hotel that American had put us up in--and we each had $20 of free room service on American's tab.

mon, may 26, 2003 - 8:16 pm - the proverbial straw
overheard on an american airlines flight on sunday:

passenger: "can I have another ginger ale?"
flight attendant: "well, I suppose so. we are borderline chapter 11, you know."

thu, may 22, 2003 - 2:47 pm - timing is everything
I turned in my thesis yesterday, 5/21/03 at 4:29pm, just 31 minutes before the deadline. I walked into the course 6 office and they said, "you know, you still have a while. want to come back in a bit?"

A highly hyperlinked version of my thesis is available here.
M.Eng Thesis Reciept Stamp

wed, may 21, 2003 - 5:19 am - sunrise
Although I would have preferred to have gotten sleep, the last crunch for my thesis has dictated otherwise. But the real suprise was remembering how beautiful sunrises are....

fri, may 9, 2003 - 10:18 am - new paul graham essay
Paul Graham has a new essay online, titled "Hackers and Painters." This seems particularly interesting as I try to figure out what I want to do with myself in June and beyond, and how to think about what I want to do. Notable:

"Computer science is a grab bag of tenuously related areas thrown together by an accident of history, like Yugoslavia."
"As far as I can tell, the way they taught me to program in college was all wrong. You should figure out programs as you're writing them, just as writers and painters and architects do."
"A programming language is for thinking of programs, not for expressing programs you've already thought of. ... We need a language that lets us scribble and smudge and smear, not a language where you have to sit with a teacup of types balanced on your knee and make polite conversation with a strict old aunt of a compiler."
"When we interviewed programmers, the main thing we cared about was what kind of software they wrote in their spare time."
"The fact that hackers learn to hack by doing it is another sign of how different hacking is from the sciences. Scientists don't learn science by doing it, but by doing labs and problem sets."
"The way to create something beautiful is often to make subtle tweaks to something that already exists, or to combine existing ideas in a slightly new way. This kind of work is hard to convey in a research paper. So why do universities and research labs continue to judge hackers by publications? For the same reason that "scholastic aptitude" gets measured by simple-minded standardized tests..."

wed, apr 30, 2003 - 9:52 am - the internet is a strange place
So I randomly met someone last night, and she and I walked and talked for a while down the esplanade and had a good time. This morning, armed with her first name and school, it took google and I about sixty seconds to find her home page... where there was already a note about our meeting and her musing on whether she'd contact me!

Naturally, she was much quicker on the draw: according to the logs she found my site about a half hour after we parted last night....

fri, apr 4, 2003 - 6:16 pm - danny hillis quotes
I came across a fun interview with Danny Hillis. Today's quotes are from it. It seems the original link is defunct, but google has it cached. The article starts by describing the Tinkertoy computer, now on display in lobby of Boston's Museum of Science. I haven't met Danny but I've worked for years with Brian Silverman, the co-creator of the Tinkertoy Computer.


Hillis: I went to my first computer conference at the New York Hilton about 20 years ago. When somebody there predicted the market for microprocessors would eventually be in the millions, someone else said, "Where are they all going to go? It's not like you need a computer in every doorknob." Years later, I went back to the same hotel. I noticed the room keys had been replaced by electronic cards you slide into slots in the doors. There was a computer in every doorknob!

Interviewer: [on AI:] Isn't it dangerous to set in motion a self-improving intelligence whose workings we can't understand?
Hillis: We have children and don't know what they're going to grow up and have faith we can influence them.

Interviewer: Why do Connection Machines have all those blinking red lights?
Hillis: They have some diagnostic use, but basically, who wants to spend his life working on something that looks like a refrigerator?

thu, mar 27, 2003 - 1:15 pm - pro-war posters
so I just took a look at my tracking info, and damn! I've had 21 people visit my page already today and it's only 1pm. You guessed it, I'm not usually that popular. Apparently I'm google's first hit for "pro-war posters", thanks to mentioning the MIT pro-war posters below. I think I'd like to provide something useful for those waylaid web-surfers, first the Tech article about MIT's protests and an earlier letter to the Tech responding to pro-war posters, and more interestingly the content (as I recall them) of the most interesting two (IMHO) of the pro-war posters which appeared on MIT's campus:

(in reference to anti-war posters urging students not to be "a cog in the war machine"): I'd rather be a cog in the machine than Saddam's bitch.

(in the visual style of posters which appeared on campus saying "war never solved anything"): Appeasement never solved anything. War, however, has ended slavery, nazism, toppled dictators, and created democracies around the world.

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(c) tim gorton 2019